The nation’s top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has tested positive for COVID-19, officials with the National Institutes of Health said Wednesday.
Fauci, who has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, was experiencing mild symptoms of the viral infection and planned to isolate and work from home as he recovered, officials said.
He is fully vaccinated and has received two booster shots.
“He has not recently been in close contact with President Biden or other senior government officials,” according to the National Institutes of Health. “Dr. Fauci will follow the COVID-19 guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and medical advice from his physician and return to the NIH when he tests negative.”
Fauci, 81, has helped to lead the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, first as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force under President Donald Trump and then under President Joe Biden, as a member of the White House COVID-19 Response Team. He also serves as Biden’s chief medical adviser.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 78% of the U.S. population – 259 million people – has gotten at least one dose of any of the available COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 67% of Americans, or 221.7 million people, have been fully vaccinated, and over 47% of those who have been fully vaccinated have gotten at least one booster shot, CDC data shows.
Officials have confirmed more than 85.8 million COVID-19 infections and reported over 1 million deaths nationwide, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
More than 536.9 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, resulting in 6.3 million deaths, according to the university.
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